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SBK, Bautista: "I'm not a traitor. Ducati didn't want me."

EXCLUSIVE - "If they cared even just a bit about me, I would still be here. The MotoGP? Never thought of KTM. I was hoping to be in the official team with Dovizioso."

SBK: Bautista: "I'm not a traitor. Ducati didn't want me."

There are love stories that last forever, others that end before they even begin, and still others that come to an end for some reason that is not well known. Sometimes we say, "I'm leaving you because I love you too much". The break up between Alvaro Bautista and Ducati seems to be approaching the latter. Since the Spanish rider and the team did not come to terms on the contract renewal, n.19 consequently chose another direction.

In fact, Alvaro will start again with Honda while, at Borgo Panigale, they've decided to focus on Scott Redding's qualities, from a 2020 perspective. The fact is that Magny-Cours will be Bau Bau's last appearance riding a Ducati in the Old Continent.

"It's the first time in my career that I'm racing on this track," the Spanish rider began. "This track seems really old style in its layout. I personally don't want to create false expectations for myself. The thing that worries me most is the weather instead of the track, since you don't know what can happen from one moment to the next."

At the beginning of the season it seemed like he could easily win the title, but it went differently. Do you think Rea has won this World Championship or did you lose it?

"I would have signed immediately in January to finish second at the end of the Championship while, after the results of the first three races, I would have seen it in a different way. I think there's a lack of experience, as well as luck, given that you need a mix of things that fit together well, in order to win a World Championship. So I believe that we've lost this World Championship, since there have been so many difficulties, and our rivals have taken advantage of this."

Was there a moment when you didn't understand what was happening anymore?

"Yes. At Laguna Seca. I couldn't believe that I didn't get even one point in America. It seemed really strange to me. I fell on Saturday, and I still I don't know why. Then on Sunday I had that problem after Razgatlioglu fell. "t was really incredible. In the end, that's how life goes. Sometimes everything goes well and, other times, everything goes in the opposite direction."

You could have tried again in 2020 with Ducati, but that's not how it's going to be.

"That's true but I'll be in the Superbike, and I'll try to win it."

Alvaro, as you well know, Ducati fans are passionate. Some see you as a traitor. What do you think?

"I've read lots of negative comments and other positive comments about me, but all this influences me to a certain extent. I'm not a traitor because I'm still fighting with Ducati to win other races."

When did you decide to leave Ducati?

"There was no specific time or day. It was a series of somewhat strange situations that led me to this decision. It was in the month of July, after the Laguna Seca race."

Strange situations in what sense?

"In the sense that, in the end, Ducati decided to take on Redding, then I made my choice."

But did Ducati want to keep you?

"If Ducati really wanted to keep me, do you think they wouldn't have? They might have wanted me to stay at Ducati, but not all that much. Obviously, I'm very grateful to them for their loyalty, and I'll give it my all in these three races."

Some people think your leaving because of money.

"No, it's not because of that. In the end, it's not just about money, since what matters is the package."

What impressed you about Honda's project?

"I can't talk about that. At the moment, I'm only focused on 2019."

Have you thought about returning to the MotoGP after the separation between KTM and Zarco?

"One of my goals was to return to the MotoGP but riding a competitive bike that would allow me to fight for the podium. The KTM has potential, but not to win, and I think that's obvious."

I guess your objective was to take Petrucci's place, right?

"Exactly. Being in the official team would have been a great satisfaction for me. In the end, I only rode in one race, and I don't think I did anything wrong."

How much long will you race for?


"Until I have fun. The moment I won't have fun anymore, I'll stay home. Personally, I don't want to give myself a time."

You'll start over from Honda. What are you expecting?

"It's going to be a new season for me. Obviously, less than this one. I'll have to learn many things, and not raise my expectations, even if my objective is the World Championship."

What do you think of Marquez's superiority in the MotoGP?

"Marc and his team are one step ahead. They've never make mistakes, while his rivals make more. I think the way they've managed to bring him to win this World Championship title is incredible."

Would you like to become for Honda SBK what Marc is in the MotoGP?

"I'd like to be Bautista, since I don't like comparisons. Each of us is different from the other."

If I said Rossi and Lorenzo in the SBK, what would you say?

"If he wants to get back into the game, the SBK is here, but this will depend on him. As for Jorge, it has to do with his confidence with the bike."

One last thing. You'll be a father in December. How are you experiencing your daughter's arrival?

I'm very calm for now, also because our daughter hasn't come into the world yet,"  he smiled. "Of course, it'll all be different. Maybe some dynamics will change, but I'm convinced that we'll do everything we can to be ready."



Translated by Leila Myftija

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